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[U] Commonwealth v. Perez-Baez

Superior Court of Pennsylvania

February 28, 2014

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA Appellee
v.
JUAN MELVIN PEREZ-BAEZ Appellant

NON-PRECEDENTIAL DECISION

Appeal from the Judgment of Sentence February 20, 2013 In the Court of Common Pleas of Lebanon County Criminal Division at No(s): CP-38-CR-0000447-2012

BEFORE: MUNDY, J., OLSON, J., and STABILE, J.

MEMORANDUM

MUNDY, J.

Appellant, Juan Melvin Perez-Baez, appeals from the February 20, 2013 judgment of sentence of five to 23 months' imprisonment imposed after a jury found him guilty of one count of simple assault.[1] After careful review, we affirm the judgment of sentence.

The trial court summarized the relevant facts and procedural history of this case as follows.

On or about February 25, 2012, [Appellant's then-girlfriend, ] Jody Hunsicker-Diaz (hereinafter[, the victim]) walked herself to the Good Samaritan Hospital following a domestic violence incident involving [Appellant]. [Appellant] was charged with one (1) count of Simple Assault. A jury trial was held on January 8, 2013, where [Appellant] was found guilty. On February 20, 2013, [Appellant] was sentenced to a period of incarceration at the Lebanon County Correctional Facility, the minimum of which was five (5) months and the maximum was twenty-three (23) months. On February 28, 2013, [Appellant] filed a [timely] post-sentence motion alleging the Commonwealth's evidence was insufficient to support is conviction.

Trial Court Opinion, 6/28/13, at 2-3 (footnotes in original). On June 28, 2013, the trial court entered an order denying Appellant's post-sentence motion. This timely appeal followed on July 12, 2013.[2]

On appeal, Appellant raises the following issue for our review.

A. Whether Appellant should be acquitted because there was not sufficient evidence presented at trial to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he committed the crime of [s]imple [a]ssault?

Appellant's Brief at 4.

"The standard we apply in reviewing the sufficiency of the evidence is whether viewing all the evidence admitted at trial in the light most favorable to the verdict winner, there is sufficient evidence to enable the fact-finder to find every element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt." Commonwealth v. O'Brien, 939 A.2d 912, 913 (Pa. Super. 2007) (citation omitted). "Any doubts concerning an appellant's guilt [are] to be resolved by the trier of fact unless the evidence was so weak and inconclusive that no probability of fact could be drawn therefrom." Commonwealth v. West, 937 A.2d 516, 523 (Pa. Super. 2007), appeal denied, 947 A.2d 737 (Pa. 2008). Moreover, "[t]he Commonwealth may sustain its burden of proving every element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt by means of wholly circumstantial evidence." Commonwealth v. Perez, 931 A.2d 703, 707 (Pa. Super. 2007) (citations omitted).

The crime of simple assault is codified in the Pennsylvania Crimes Code and provides, in ...


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